Why Do We Follow Jesus?

Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled." - John 6:26 NKJV

We can fool some people some of the time, be we can never fool Jesus, no matter how crafty we are with our words or behavior.  When we try to fool Jesus, we can also be assured that He will set us straight when He catches us paying attention to what He has to say.  Jesus' followers found themselves receiving rebuke from Jesus just one day after Jesus had fed 5,000of them with five loaves of bread and two fish. 

What is interesting to me about the scene is that before Jesus rebukes them for their motives, there is no indication given in the passage as to the reason that those followers were following Jesus.  However, Jesus knew that they weren't seeking Him to get to know Him, but rather to fill their hungry bellies with food.  They were seeking after Jesus because of what He could give them, not for who He was.  Why do you seek after God?

God does want to provide good things for His children, but it is clear that He wants us to get to know Him for who He is, and to seek more for our lives than what we need to take care of our physical needs.  Right after Jesus revealed that He knew the true motives of His followers, He told them what they should really be seeking after when he said

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you..." - John 6:27 NKJV

The "food which endures" is Jesus, the bread of life.  When take steps to get to know Him and appreciate Him for who He is, we will receive from Him more than we can imagine in the form of godly character and eternal riches that will never fade away.

Going deeper:

1) How often do you thank God for who He is rather than the specific things He has done for you?

2) What is your motive for following Jesus?  To serve Him or to receive from Him?


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.

The Work of God's Hand

But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. - Isaiah 64:8

I'm not sure exactly how I got to the above verse from Romans 10, but I am here nonetheless.  (Aside: If I get this post done with my sweet little dog barking his fool head off, it will be nothing short of a miracle).  Did you notice the last phrase of this verse? We all are the work of God's hand.  Think on that a minute.  What does that mean to you personally?

I think that most of us have heard about how God is the potter and we are the clay.  What stands out to me is that I am the work of God's hand.  Do you remember what God thought in the beginning?

Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

We are all the work of God's hand. God's.  All of us are - not just our best friend, our neighbor, our mentor, favorite bible teacher or our spouse. He has created each one of us to be all that He needs to finish His work here on earth.  Sometimes we are like soft clay, easily molded and changed, other times we are hardened clay that must be broken to be reformed.  At any rate, we are still the work of God's hand.  He says it. 

What do we do with this knowledge?  Well, in my case, I'm going to try not to be the hard clay.  I will try to be the best servant I can be without trying to be a copy of someone else.  I will try to remember ahead of time that when I become the hard clay in spite of my efforts to remain soft, as I believe we all do at times, I will be used by God for His glory all the more. After all, God is into the miracle business (he has quieted my dog, after all).

Friends, God needs all of us to do His work to further God's kingdom.  My prayer is that each one of you reading this will be touched by an extra measure of God's grace today and that you will be assured that you are the work of God's hand.  God doesn't make junk.

Who Should We Please?

In John 5:31-46, Jesus was trying to make the people understand who He was.  In His "speech", Jesus expressed that He didn't receive honor from men (John 5:41).  Jesus' following statement in  v44 questioning how the Jews could believe Him when they really just wanted to look good to other people brings up and interesting thought to me.  What are the spiritual ramifications of living a life to please men rather than God?

1) We may never believe in Jesus. - In the passage above, Jesus was making it clear that the Jews were learning the scriptures not for the truth, but so they could impress their friends.  This is the most devastating consequence of all.

2) We will miss out on rewards in heaven. - Paul writes his second letter to Timothy regarding the essentials of the Christian faith and basis of ministry.  In 2 Timothy 2:12, He states that if we deny Christ, He will deny us.  Based on the context of this verse, I believe it is probably talking about a loss of heavenly rewards for those who "deny" Christ.  If we seek to please people, we will undoubtedly be self-conscious in our behavior and will not live our lives as radically on fire for Jesus because we don't want to be considered Jesus freaks.

3) We will miss out on blessings here on earth. - How much time do you think is wasted, either by your or by others around you, worrying about getting hurt by others?  I believe it goes on all of the time. If we all just did what we knew what was right and allowed ourselves to take chances by loving other people as God has called us to do, I think the blessings we would receive would be endless. 


When God Smiles

My post today is an article I just finished for the October issue of our Grace Church Women's ministry newsletter.   This is literally hot off the "press".  Actually, our "publisher" hasn't even seen it yet! :)  Happy reading!


Dear Ladies,

Last spring I attended a piano recital of a friend’s daughter.  I wanted to go hear her play, but I never would have imagined the joy it brought me to see all of the kids from ages 5-17 or so playing their selections for their families.  It brought back lots of memories of my childhood and all of the piano recitals in which I had participated.  As I sat there listening, to my mind came the memories of good performances, not-so-good performances and the many hours of practice beforehand. 

In addition to the memories, though, I was really moved by how much enjoyment the parents got out of watching their kids.  These performances weren’t perfect, but I believe that in the eyes of moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and even friends like me, they were priceless - priceless displays of effort for their entire “world” to see. 

Do you think that God enjoys watching His little children do things for Him?  Do you think He smiles as He watches us take one wobbly baby step at a time down this road of life with all our might?  I bet He does, while all the while thinking to Himself “Come on, my child, you can make it!”. 

I love thinking about my relationship with God in this way.  My dad still says that I am his little girl.  Do you realize that you are God’s “little girl”?  When we accept His Son, Jesus, we are adopted into His family forever (Ro 8:15).  He loves us so much because after all, He chose us (John 15:16) and being the perfect Father that He is, He wants to do things for us (Mt. 7:11). 

What are you not doing in your life for God because you are afraid of making a mistake?  If you find yourself here, I assure you that you are not alone. I think that sometimes all of us are like that little child who when on stage forgets her place, finds her fingers not working as she had planned, and wishes secretly for the experience to be over.

Friends, our heavenly Father does not expect perfection from us, just that we do our best where we are with what we have.  Remember that “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7 NKJV).  When we take that step forward, He will be there right beside us, ready to take our small hand in His…smiling.

In Him,


What Defines A Man?

In case anyone noticed, I've missed a few more days here and there than usual. You would think that I was trying to get my dogs off to school or something! :) Actually, I've just been a little busy with life, but plan on getting back on the "blogwagon" very, very soon.

In the meantime, as I've been working on things for Grace Church's upcoming Ladies' Retreat, I've been thinking a lot about its subject matter. When reading one of my favorite blogs this morning, I saw a recent post that describes how God really views us. If only humankind could do the same!

Check out "The inside" . I guarantee you will be uplifted by the insight here.